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A “Big Idea” for middle school math

Big Ideas Math Book.jpgAcross the Cherry Creek School District, people are excited about “Big Ideas Math.”

“It’s going to be a great academic resource for students, parents and teachers,” said Angie Zehner, principal at Thunder Ridge Middle School. “Big Ideas Math immerses our students into the curriculum.”

Big Ideas Math is a research-based program grounded in both content standards and mathematical practice standards. It’s a common math resource being implemented at all district middle schools this year.

“What’s great about Big Ideas Math is it balances conceptual understanding with procedural fluency,” said Pamela Peszek, Secondary Mathematics Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools. “It provides real-life applications for students that help turn mathematics learning into engaging ways to see and explore the real world.”

The Big Ideas Math program includes both a hard-copy student textbook and an online student eBook, something parents have voiced support for.

“Having the ability to send text books home as a parent resource allows us to put action behind our pledge of partnership with families,” said Nickie Bell, principal at Horizon Community Middle School.

The program also offers a wealth of online resources including games, tutorials and videos, which are accessible by students, parents and teachers, at school and at home.

“It has steps and plenty of examples for students and parents to refer to when they get home,” Zehner added.

Big Ideas Math Training 3.JPGMiddle school math teachers received three days of Big Ideas Math training this summer, so they can fully utilize the program’s many assets to better meet students’ individual needs.

“Having these new resources will give teachers the freedom to focus on students, rather than hunting for materials,” Peszek said.

“So many resources!” said Bell. “We can hardly wait to see an increase in learning by integrating all of the new tools.”

Big Ideas Math also aligns with the middle school math pathways, or progression of courses, offered in Cherry Creek Schools; Math 6, 6-7, 7, 7-8, 8 and Algebra. That progression ensures that all students have both the support and the challenges they need to advance in mathematics.

“The implementation of Big Ideas Math was teacher-driven in the best interest of students,” said Dr. Floyd Cobb, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction for Cherry Creek Schools.

Posted 8/16/2016 9:26 AM
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